Saturday, July 18, 2009

“You’ll Do It and You WILL Enjoy It...”

Back in the mid-1980s when I began my mechanical trade apprenticeship I had a good-natured tradesman instructing me who would often say if I moaned about the work ahead of me, “You’ll do it, Steve, and you will enjoy it!” Each time he said it, it would make me laugh aloud. Then I’d get the point and get on with the task at hand.

It seems almost a trite point, but I’ll make it anyway. There are so many situations in our lives when we begrudgingly ‘endure’ the moments. If we added up all these types of unpleasant moments they’d count for a considerable portion of our whole life.

Because work takes up a quarter of our life during our working years, and sleep takes up between a quarter and a third of our hours overall, it means we need to maximise the rest of our available hours and enjoy them. When time goes it can’t be retrieved.

The Bible speaks[1] of making the most of our time--in terms of ‘buying-up’ or ‘redeeming’ time as if it could be bought. And indeed this is the point. Time is the only commodity we all get in equal portions, day for day, and year for year. The balances in our time bank accounts are equal across humanity.

Time doesn’t discriminate. Each baby born gets the same opportunities, time-wise, as the next baby. Barring a shortened life span, we’re all in the same boat.

One of the vexing complaints for every single person, indiscriminate of age, gender, status and ethnicity, is ‘How do I make good use of time when I don’t want to be doing what I’m doing?’ Enjoying the unenjoyable moment... all relate.

One pro-active measure we can take in these loath-able situations is to start to see the benefits in the activity; see it as a positive choice made. Seeing the benefits in the present time, but also having hope for some immediate future event is also important. But we must be able to enjoy the present moment, seeing something positively significant about it.

It is possible to enjoy hard work, activities we don’t like, even boredom and time away from loved ones. It requires a mind shift and the challenging of the mindset, and a willingness to undergo a change of heart. It requires surrendering our desires. This is why people with a genuinely pliable relationship with God can experience peace in dire circumstances.

It is possible to do the unenjoyable thing and not only endure it but paradoxically enjoy it.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved.

[1] See Ephesians 5:15-17, for instance.

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